Contracting the flu can mean wound treatment patients need to take special precautions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 9.2 million and 35.6 million people have contracted the flu in the U.S. each year since 2010, and many of those patients are also undergoing wound care.

Effects of the flu can range from merely a cough or a sore throat to severe fever, body aches and cramps. Some people recover quickly – between a few days to a couple of weeks – while others can develop more serious conditions, such as pneumonia.

The effects of the flu can be even more dire for those who suffer from infected wounds that are slow to heal. Because the flu weakens the body’s immune system, it can make the wound healing process take even longer. This makes it necessary for those with diabetic ulcers or chronic wounds to take special precautions to not only treat their flu symptoms but care for their wounds as well.

Flu and wounds

In patients with diabetic ulcers or chronic wounds, the situation can be create further complications. Because the body’s immune system will be directed toward fighting the flu, and the healing of the wound will be delayed. This also increases the chances of infection in the wound area.

In addition, the Chicago Tribune cited a study that found that cold weather constricts the air passages, which in turn suppresses the bodily systems that protect us against infection.

Prevention

Get rest, but do it right
Taking time off from work or chores and just resting can help you get over the flu much faster. It gives your body time to recover. But be sure to elevate your head to permit your nasal passages to drain and reduce congestion. You’ll breathe more effectively and feel better.

Reduce inflammation
Preventing the wound area from becoming inflamed is vital, and painkillers such as ibuprofen (800mg) can help reduce inflammation while also providing pain relief.

The proper nutrition
It’s important to make sure you get the right vitamins and nutrients that encourage wound healing to compensate for your depleted state. According to SF Gate, vitamin C can help wounds heal faster by encouraging the production of collagen, the protein that helps create the connective tissues that wounds need to heal – skin, tendons and ligaments. In addition, vitamin A and zinc can both help with collagen creation, while zinc speeds the growth of new cells and boost the immune system (though too much zinc can actually inhibit the wound healing process).

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.